PERSPECTIVE--According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) states that: "In 2016 in the Buffalo region, which includes Syracuse, there were 1,103 administrative arrests by ICE.  Of those, 160 were non-criminals. For 2017, there were 396 non-criminal arrests by ICE out of 1,494 total." Four months into 2018, it appears that those numbers are going to skyrocket. 

VOICES--In January of 2018, at a community meeting organized by the Coalition to Defend Westlake (CDW), city planner Craig Weber advocated for the North Westlake Design District (NWDD), stating “It’s important to the city to create an environment that is conducive to walking and does not take a step backward and reorient toward the automobile.”

GUEST COMMENTARY--The LA City Council’s approval of a homeless housing law that ends environmental review, eliminates height/density restrictions in many areas, and ends public hearings, will fail to stem the growing homeless crisis.  

CAL MATTERS--As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrapped up a second day being grilled by Congressabout whether the company adequately protects the personal data of its 2 billion users, news brokein California that Facebook will stop spending money to oppose a privacy measure aiming for the state’s November ballot.

CALL TO ACTION-On January 4, 2018, Senator Bob Wieckowski introduced SB 831, a bill that would have amended the just-last-year enacted "Granny Flats" sections of state law to require, rather than simply permit, cities, states and other municipalities to provide by ordinance for the creation of "junior accessory dwelling units", or so-called ADUs. 

EASTSIDER-For too much of my life, I’ve been involved with government -- working as an employee of public agencies, representing public employees before administrative bodies, and even running two administrative agencies themselves. That’s why I can’t simply let EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s behavior get a pass. 

ALPERN AT LARGE--I wish I could, and I think many of us wish we also could, be thrilled at the environmentally-smart but still untested (and very expensive) CoolSeal coating of our streets that is planned to reduce the heating effects caused by asphalt absorption of the sun's rays, and which creates a well-known "urban heat island effect".

BELL VIEW--The other day, driving West on Hollywood Boulevard, while stopped at the light at Hollywood and Western, I heard small, frantic voice to my left screaming “Wait! Wait! Wait!”  

ALPERN AT LARGE--Word of the day: GASLIGHTING.  This happens increasingly in the United States, and throughout the world, but especially here in California.  Gaslighting, as per Wikipedia, is a form of manipulation that sows seeds of doubt in an individual or members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their memory, perception, and sanity. 

CAL MATTERS-California Attorney General Xavier Becerra moved today to intervene in a Texas lawsuit aimed at undoing Obamacare. Becerra and 15 other attorneys general joined forces to file their motion to prevent “immediate and irreparable harm,” as Becerra put it, to California and other states.

MY TURN--The nearly one dozen tenants facing eviction after a woman running a transitional housing scam in a dilapidated, ramshackle house in South L.A. took their money and failed to pay rent to the landlord, announced with their attorney Nana Gyamfi that they’d been given relocation assistance through the City of Los Angeles.

CORRUPTION WATCH-Passim is a legal word referring to something one finds throughout a system. For instance, raisins are passim in Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Swirl Bread with frosting on top. Thousands of times each day, some poor soul is being screwed in some court in California. That does not mean that every case and every hearing is corrupt. And just as there are ingredients other than raisins in the Pepperidge Farm bread, not every judge is abusive, but all are complicit by silence. 

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